1999 Gang Rape’s Prime Accused Arrested: CBI Team Calls On Police Commissioner

Bhubaneswar: A day after the Commissionerate of Police announced the arrest of Bibekanand Biswal, the main accused in the gang rape of a 30-year-old woman in 1999, a team from the CBI visited the Police Seva Bhavan here today.

According to reports, the team comprised of three senior CBI officials who met Police Commissioner Sudhanshu Sarangi. The officials of the premier investigating agency termed it as a courtesy visit and remained tight-lipped about the latest development in the aforementioned high-profile case.

Initially, the Cuttack Mahila police were investigating this case on the basis of a complaint lodged by the survivor on January 10, 1999. Two days later On January 12, the case was handed over to the Crime Branch.

As the police failed to nab the prime accused Biban, the Orissa High Court on February 26, 1999, ordered a CBI probe into the incident.

The CBI after completion of the investigation submitted the final charge-sheet against the three accused on May 5, 1999, in the court of the Additional District Judge, Bhubaneswar.

Two accused in this case, Padia and Punia were arrested on January 26, while the prime accused Biban Biswal was on the run. He remained absconding till February 2021, before being apprehended by a team of Commissionerate of Police.

The victim, during a presser on Monday, said her hopes to get justice was rekindled with the arrest of Biban. “I am deeply grateful to the Police Commissionerate for nabbing this man after 22 years. The onus now lies with the CBI to take it forward. I want him to be hanged till death or imprisoned for life,” she said.